TEL AVIV (Apr. 16)
Elaborate security measures have been introduced in the past few days to protect settlements and townships near the northern borders–and particularly their schools–from possible new terrorist outrages. The measures are in reaction to the Kiryat Shemona massacre and further threats from terrorist leader Ahmed Jabril’s organization, Popular Front-General Command, that it planned new suicide assaults on Israeli civilian centers.
In Kiryat Shemona, in the coastal town of Nahariya and other population centers within reach of the Lebanese border, police and army units are on 24-hour patrol duty and armed guards are stationed at schools and kindergartens during the school day. School buildings are inspected by police each morning before the pupils are admitted to their classrooms. In Kiryat Shemona, security forces are building new roads to afford military units greater mobility in dealing with terrorist assaults. Army engineers are throwing up barbed wire security fences around the town perimeter.
CELEBRATIONS CANCELLED OR TONED DOWN
Meanwhile, aid and succor continued to pour into Kiryat Shemona from all parts of the country Most of the aid is aimed at improving the township’s economy and social facilities. Histadrut will construct a new Hapoel sports stadium there and the Histadrut sick fund will build a new clinic with bomb shelters enabling it to function under shelling. The Jewish Agency will construct three kindergartens and two day nurseries.
Many municipalities have decided to send fund ear-marked for Independence Day celebrations to Kiryat Shemona and the festivities have been cancelled or toned down because of the situation. Dimona, in the Negev, and Hatzor, a neighbor of Kiryat Shemona, have already donated their Yom Atzmaut funds to Kiryat Shemona. Hatzor cancelled its celebration in mourning for the Kiryat Shemona victims. Private firms have also contributed money to help rehabilitate the grief-stricken town.
Preparations were underway in Kiryat Shemona for a mass memorial service on the seventh day anniversary of the massacre. President Ephraim Katzir will attend.